wild kittens

Wild Kittens: Over the past several years, the wild mother cat who has taken up residence in our barn in rural Wisconsin has given me many opportunities to figure out how to tame wild kittens.

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How to Tame Wild Kittens

Over the past several years, the wild mother cat who has taken up residence in our barn in rural Wisconsin has given me many opportunities to figure out how to tame wild kittens. The mother cat always hides her kittens very well, and then, when they are big enough to leave the nest and are big enough to eat kitty food, she brings them out and expects me to feed them.

When the wild mother cat brings her kittens out of the nest, it is the first time in their lives they have seen a human being, and they tend to be hissing, spitting bits of fluff that really look as though they mean business. And since they already have teeth and claws, I would rather not push the issue. I also would rather not let them remain wild, living in my barn, having kittens of their own. Six kittens, within a year or two, could turn into 56.As of early 2005, the wild mother cat has had more than 20 kittens in our barn, and I have managed to tame them and to find homes for most of them (unfortunately, several were lost when the wild momma kitty took them out to teach them how to hunt).

Here are some tips for taming wild kittens:

Buy some canned kitty food -- In my experience, kittens are always hungry and are always interested in canned kitty food. I have noticed it doesn't matter what brand, just so long as it has fish in it. The smell of fish seems irresistible to kittens.

Let the kittens smell the canned kitty food -- Open the can and then try to get as close to them as possible so they can smell the food. Once they get a whiff of it, and this is especially true of younger kittens that are anywhere from four weeks old to a few months old, they will be so interested in the canned kitty food they will forget (somewhat) that you are right next to them.

Use a fork (or spoon) to scoop out some of the food and let the kittens eat off the end of the fork (spoon) -- This is an important step. Do NOT put a forkful of food down and then back off. From the very first, hold the fork toward the kitten and let the kitten eat off the end of the fork. Stick to your guns and do not give up. If the kitten wants canned kitty food, the kitten MUST eat it off the end of the fork or the spoon. This is the first step in getting the kitten used to being close to you and in growing accustomed to your hand coming closer. This will be useful later on when you are trying to pet the kittens. After the kitten has eaten food off the end of the fork/spoon, THEN you can put a little food down for the kitten to eat on its own.

Repeat step 3 every time you offer the kittens some canned food -- At first, the kittens are going to be cautious about your hand coming toward them. The fork with the food will help to overcome that resistance. After you have done this a couple of times, the kittens will look forward to eating off the fork and will start to lose their fear of you and your hand.

Stay right there while the kittens are eating -- After you have put out some canned food for the kittens, stay there and don't move off. Let them eat with you next to them. This will help teach them to associate human beings with "good things."

Carefully start to pet the kittens -- After feeding them a couple of times without trying to pet them, which will begin to teach them that they can trust you, put food out and let the kittens start to eat. Then slowly reach down and pet them a little bit. Continue to sit there while they finish eating.

Carefully start to pick up the kittens -- After you can successfully put out food and remain there while the kittens eat and can pet them a little bit, try picking up a kitten. If you can, grasp the kitten by the scruff of the neck. This is how mother cats carry their kittens, and when you do this, the kitten will go limp. Hold the kitten against your shoulder and talk softly to it, but don't say "Hi kitten" or anything starting with an "h" sound. To a kitten, this sounds like a cat hissing, and the kitten will become frightened. Hold the kitten for a minute or so and then, grasping it by the scruff of the neck, set it down. After you have done this several times, the kitten will realize that no harms come to it from being picked up and handled.

Depending upon the age of the kittens and basic personality traits, the whole process, from starting with canned kitty food on the fork to being able to pet them and pick them up, could be accomplished in a few days or it might take a few weeks. Eventually, the kittens will know that people mean good things, and when they see you coming, they will come running to meet you. It has been my experience that cats quickly recognize when a situation is to their advantage, and once the kittens know you are a source of good things to eat and that you mean them no harm, they will want to be friends.

About the author: Visit ruralroute2.com If you would like to read an article about feeding and caring for orphaned kittens, go to the "articles" section of my website or if you would like to read more stories about cats and kittens from my book, "Give Me a Home Where the Dairy Cows Roam" (free shipping (!) on copies ordered from the author



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Problems That Aging Cats are Susceptible to

It’s a given that a cat ages more rapidly than what humans do. Some veterinarians will tell you that a one-year old cat is equivalent to a 16-year old child, although I think this is extreme. The different schools of thoughts propounded by vets and feline experts will tell you that the ratio is anywhere from 4 to 7:1 when it comes to comparing the aging process of a feline to that of a human. Despite the difficulty in predicting an exact age, most vets and experts consider a feline to be “geriatric” once it is 10 years old.

Cats are now living longer than ever before with the average age of a house cat that has been well cared for being around 15 years of age. Additionally, cats that have been neutered or spayed tend to live longer than those that have not been. The speculation here is that cats that have not been “fixed” tend to roam around a lot more and are there prone to even fatal injuries. It also holds true that they succumb to diseases and health maladies because of exposure to the outside environment.

Felines are amazing pieces of machinery, so to speak, in that they have the capability of repairing themselves. For instance, despite the fact that they have two kidneys, they only need a part of one of them in order to stay healthy. Eventually, the aging process in cats takes its toll on them, just like it does with us, and therefore they experience those bodily changes that are characteristically associated with getting older.

The bottom line here is that the key elements of exercise, health care, and proper nutrition, combined with the special care they need once they have entered their “golden years,” will affect your cat’s life expectancy positively. The following list, though quite lengthy, are the more common conditions and problems that older cats may eventually face and that you as an owner will have to deal with when they arise:

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* Cancer
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* Decreased control of body temperature
* Decreased functions of the kidneys and liver
* Decreased intestinal and stomach functions which oftentimes lead to impaired digestive processes
* Decreased production of saliva and difficulties in swallowing
* Decreased sensitivity to all the senses excluding touch
* Dehydration resulting from a decreased sensitivity to thirst
* Greater occurrence of infection due to increased susceptibility
* Increased bone brittleness
* Mouth ulcers
* Muscle dysfunction and weakness
* Periodontal conditions and tooth loss
* Shallower sleeping patterns which leads to irritability and temperament issues
* Skin abnormalities such as abnormally brittle or misshaped claws, alopecia, and dullness of the coat

From the time they are kittens, cats need to be provided with four critical elements in order to enter their golden years in the best possible shape – an appropriate amount of regular exercise, good health care, proper nutrition, and a stimulating lifestyle. About the Author
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For more easy, practical tips on taking great care of your cat be sure to visit the author’s feline health site now.

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Traveling with your cat is sometimes your choice and sometimes a necessity. Lots of decisions and thinking can make it a safe and non freak out event. Cats like a stable and same old routine type of life. When you have to go away, then you have to decide what is best suited to your cats well being. What is easy for you, is not necessarily what is best for your cat.

Have a secure cat carrier, soft or hard. Soft is nice because it offers some give and is easy to hold in your arms, when your cat is frightened. It works very nicely in car travel. Hard is good for commercial travel, because it protects your cat from bumps and rough handling.

With either cat carrier take an old T-shirt that you have worn, that has your bodys scent on it and put it in the carrier. A favorite small blanket or something that will fit in the carrier, is also a good idea. It will help to calm the cat.

Remember that while you know what is going on, your cat is surrounded by new noises, scents, and people it does not know. It will also sense your nervousness of getting there on time and checking in.

Take your cat in for a check up with the vet. Make sure all shots are up to date and that you carry the paper work to prove it, in case there is a problem while traveling.
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Cats & Holidays

What are the options of care for my cat when I go on holidays?

There are several options for your cat when you go on holiday. Each option has it's pros & cons & needs to be weighed up carefully. There are many factors involved, including the length of time you are going away, cost, your cat's personality & your own comfort level. Listed below are several options cat owners can investigate.

Boarding Cattery:
Pros: You will have a professional to watch your cat while you are away. There are some wonderful boarding catteries available. Some of which start out fairly basic, others are the equivalent of a feline 5 star hotel. Many boarding catteries have an enclosed outdoor play area so your cat can enjoy the sunshine in the safety of an enclosure. As boarding catteries usually have other pets in their care, time in an outdoor play area is usually limited so each of their guests can enjoy time outside.

You will have somebody keeping a watch over your cat's health & well being. As well as providing the basic requirements such as feeding many boarding catteries will spend time playing, grooming & petting your cat.

Cons: Some cats don't take well to being taken outside of the comfort of their home, and will become stressed. The majority of cats will settle in quickly, but some will find it an upsetting experience.
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Euthanasia in Cats

Also known as 'putting to sleep' euthanasia is used to end an animal's life quickly & painlessly. Most often this is due to the animal having a a critical or terminal illness with no chance of recovery.

Euthanasia is something almost all pet owners are going to have to face at one point or another. Bringing a pet into our life is an exciting & rewarding time, but sadly their lifespan is shorter than ours & therefore it is highly likely that we will eventually have to make the decision to euthanise them in order to end their suffering.

Why euthanise my cat?

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Important Cat Litter Box Health Concerns

Cats are the most popular pets in the United States. According to the latest version of the U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook (2002 Edition) there were almost 70 Million pet cats in the United States. Why are cats so popular? There are as many answers to this question as there are cat owners, but the low health risks cats pose to their owners is certainly near the top of this list. Even though the potential health risks cats pose to people are small, it is important that cat owners are aware of these risks and understand how to reduce them.

The majority of all risks stemming from cat ownership are associated with the cat litter box and/or cat feces. There are two categories of risks. The first category contains health risks posed by bacteria and parasites to both cat owners and their cats. The second category contains injuries resulting from an automatic litter box or self cleaning litter box.

Primarily the health problems experienced by cat owners or their cats come from the first category and the most significant of these risks is called Toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a tiny parasite called Toxoplasma gondii which can be found in raw or undercooked meat, unwashed fruits and vegetables, dirty cat litter boxes and outdoor soil where cat feces can be found. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) more than 60 million people in the United States may be infected with the Toxoplasma parasite(1). Fortunately, very few people ever experience any symptoms because a healthy person's immune system usually keeps the parasite from causing illness. However, pregnant women and individuals who have compromised immune systems, such as individuals infected with the HIV virus, are at risk and should take precautions to avoid being infected by the parasite. For people in this group a Toxoplasma infection could cause serious health problems to the individual or to a pregnant woman’s unborn child.

Again, most of the 60 million plus American’s infected with Toxoplasmosis parasite will never experience any symptoms. Most of those who do experience symptoms will simply think they have the Flu as the most common symptoms include swollen glands, fever, headache, muscle pain, or a stiff neck. For those in the high risk group, Toxoplasmosis can cause damage to the brain, eyes and internal organs. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, children born with Toxoplasma gondii can suffer from hearing loss, mental retardation, and blindness with some children developing brain or eye problems years after birth(2). The CDC estimates that 400-4000 fetuses are infected with the Toxoplasma gondii parasite each year and as many as 80 infants die from Toxoplasmosis annually (2).

So how does an individual contract Toxoplasmosis? A Toxoplasmosis infection is caused by ingesting the Toxoplasma gondi parasite. Most cat owners are infected with the parasite by accidentally ingesting infected cat feces. This happens when a person touches their mouth after handling a cat litter box, working in a garden or sand box or touching anything that has come in contact with cat feces
Continue Reading About Important Cat Litter Box Health Concerns


Give Me Cat Training in Ten Minutes: My Cat is a Wild One

Really? Cat training in ten minutes? You are kidding right? Cat training is crucial to the proper development of your cat and in order to maintain control of your own home. While you may have a wild kitty, thinking that you are going to be able to complete cat training in ten minutes is simply not a reality. Cat training in 10 minutes just isn't going to happen. Learning how to cat care and to guide your cat into the behavior you want takes practice and consistency.

Consistent work with your cat and continual reinforcement are the two concepts that you need to achieve your goal of a well behaved cat. Teaching your cat the fundamentals of good behavior are the goals of all cat care. There aren't any magic tricks or cat training in ten minutes. But there are some great cat training aids found in many of today's pet stores that will help you in your cat training journey.

Yarns and Balls...An important part of curbing wild and crazy behavior is by giving your cat the exercise they need! Cats are playful by nature and kittens like to play with just anything. To avoid having them fiddle with fragile things, it is good to give them yarns or soft balls to play with. Older cats can be trained to use risk-free leads.

Cat are great at tricks! So take the time to teach your cat a few. Many cats can learn to fetch and even shake hands. If you are going to teach your cat some tricks, be sure to be consistent in training and to reinforce them with lost of positive encouragement. Treats are a great way to make this happen. Remember to reward your cat for a positive action. Cat treats are wonderful rewards and will make your cat much more willing to participate in cat training.
Continue Reading About Give Me Cat Training in Ten Minutes: My Cat is a Wild One


How To Clean Cat Vomit Off of Your Carpet

We all love and care for our cats despite their annoying penchant for vomiting on a regular basis. As with most things in modern society, spew removal is not as simple as one might first suspect. The results of my personal research indicate that there are three broad categories of spew that you, as a cat owner, ultimately will have to contend with:

* the traditional hairball
* the near-instantaneous upchuck of kibble just eaten (this will be designated a "kibble ball")
* the ever-disgusting, viscous mixture of partially digested food and digestive juices that comes up several hours after a hearty meal.

Each of these spew-types represents a different level of challenge in the attempt to destroy all evidence of the incident. We shall start with the easiest, the common hairball.

A hairball can be easily distinguished from other forms of spew. It is a compact, moist but not sloppy, torpedo-shaped object that closely mirrors the color of your cat's fur. Due to their benign composition, hairballs can be dealt with immediately (preferable) or at a later date (non-optimum) with little risk of damage to the defiled object (which for this article we will assume is your carpet).

Hairballs can be dealt with using a simple two-step process:

1. Remove the hairball gently from the scene of the accident.cat vomit Hairballs can be plucked, scooped or even rolled effectively from the rug using a variety of techniques and then disposed of. I prefer plastic spoons and knives that I get from fast food restaurants gratis. It is best to plan ahead and acquire these in anticipation of the need. The utensils can then be disposed of or recycled, in line with one's environmental beliefs. Stiff paper (higher quality junk mail) or cardboard (cereal box tops) are perfectly good alternatives. The primary goal in hairball removal is to not exert any downward force on the hairball, thereby driving any moist content further into the rug. Never attempt to run your vacuum over a hairball for this reason

2. Perform a simple dabbing-type cleanup of the area with a clean damp cloth or sponge. Using only water is the best approach. Avoid foot traffic until dry. Hairballs generally leave little trace on your rug once removed. A simple water clean up with a damp rag or sponge should suffice. Soap and water or a commercial rug cleaner can be used if necessary but these tend to attract dirt later on. Try to get away with just water if you can. I have used Resolve and Folex with good results when a stronger cleaner was needed. Read and follow the instructions on the bottles as these may lead to worse staining than the original cat spew.

Kibbleballs are somewhat more troublesome to deal with. The kibbleball results when a cat meal is injested and then, in short order, "degested" into a pile on the floor. Depending upon your cat's peculiarities, there may well be multiple (though rarely more than three) piles to contend with.

Many of the removal techniques that work on a hairball work just as well on a kibble ball as the true kibble ball is only slightly moist and has good shape retention characteristics.
Continue Reading About How To Clean Cat Vomit Off of Your Carpet




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Email me your Pet related announcements and I will post them for free. clark2368@aol.com

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What weighs 6.2 tons and is worth more then 3.1 billion dollars? Are your guessing a new high tech battleship or maybe a new stealth fighter? Well it's a big ball of glow in the dark fluorite. Thats right a rock!
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Even Healthy Cats Act Sick When Their Routine Is Disrupted

A cat regularly vomiting hairballs or refusing to eat probably isn't being finicky or otherwise "cat-like," despite what conventional wisdom might say. There is a good chance that the cat is acting sick because of the stress caused by changes in its environment, new research suggests.

Healthy cats were just as likely as chronically ill cats to refuse food, vomit frequently and leave waste outside their litter box in response to changes in their routine, according to the Ohio State University study. Veterinary clinicians refer to these acts as sickness behaviors. The researchers documented sickness behaviors in healthy cats and in cats with feline interstitial cystitis, a chronic illness characterized by recurring discomfort or pain in the bladder and often both an urgent and frequent need to urinate.

When the cats experienced what were called "unusual external events," such as a change in feeding schedule or caretaker, the healthy cats were just as likely to exhibit sickness behaviors as were the chronically ill cats. The two groups had the same number of sickness behaviors in response to unusual events, and both groups were at more than three times the risk of acting sick when their routines were disrupted.

Previous research has indicated that a diagnosis of interstitial cystitis, known as IC, in cats is strongly associated with a number of other health problems. The fact that healthy cats exhibit some of those same problems in the face of stress suggests that veterinary clinicians should consider cats' environmental conditions during assessments for health problems, researchers say.

"For veterinary clinicians, when you have a cat that's not eating, is not using the litter box or has stuff coming up out of its mouth, the quality of the environment is another cause that needs to be addressed in coming up with a diagnosis," said Tony Buffington, professor of veterinary clinical sciences at Ohio State and senior author of the study.
Continue Reading About Even Healthy Cats Act Sick When Their Routine Is Disrupted


Choosing the Healthiest Cat Food Brand

Choosing be best cat food brand for your pet is more important than ever. Recent pet food recall events have alerted cat owners to the dangers posed by many commercial cat food and kitten food brands.

Healthier Cat Foods Have Higher Quality Ingredients
Although most commercial cat foods meet the criteria for "complete and balanced" as determined by AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials), these standards do not assure the safety or quality of the ingredients. All products in the recent cat food recall bore the AAFCO certification.

Better foods will cost more initially, but the lack of fillers and increased bioavailability of quality ingredients will save money over time. Your cat will get more nutrition out of less food and suffer fewer food allergies. Ultimately, the cost savings of inexpensive, poor-quality foods is a false economy.

Foods that contain excess fillers like corn, soy and wheat are like junk food for cats. You cat eats more of these foods to obtain the nutrients she needs, and obesity results. Obesity can cause joint problems, heart failure and metabolic disorders such as diabetes.

Read Labels on Cat Food Brand Recipes
Look passed the enticing design of the bag and read the ingredient labels. As obligate carnivores, cats must have meat in their diet to survive. The better the source of the meat protein, the better.

When reading the label, look at the order of ingredients. They are listed in order of quantity. The first ingredient should be a named meat or fish like "chicken" or "salmon." Avoid foods that say simply "meat" or "meat by-products."

Use caution when choosing food according to the name of the food rather than the ingredients.
Continue Reading About Choosing the Healthiest Cat Food Brand


How to Litter Train A Kitten

If the mother cat is still in the home and she is already litter trained, then litter training her kittens is a natural process. Her kittens will simply follow what she does. However, ultimately, each cat should have its own litter tray or else it may create a host of other litter tray problems for you!

For most kitten owners, the mother cat is not in the home if the kitten was orphaned or purchased. But this is not a problem. It is easy to litter train a cat when it's still a little kitten. Cats are creatures of habit and it may not be as easy to litter train once they have become used to their favorite toilet spots.

The key to litter training a kitten is to let it get used to the litter tray as soon as possible. You will need to manually place your kitten onto the tray initially, as it is neither used to it nor is it able to climb over the edge to get in.

Most kittens would defecate soon after waking up and after a meal. You could place your kitten in the litter tray during these times and after a few weeks, your kitten would get used to the routine and it would become a habit.

Just be sure to place the litter tray a reasonable distance away from where the kitten is fed and where it sleeps. Cats and kittens are fastidious creatures and do not like to do their toilet near where they eat and sleep.

When a kitten is still very young, it will not be able to "cover up" very well after its toilet, as most adult cats are capable of. But you don't have to worry about this. Once they are about 1 to 2 months old, they will instinctively know how to cover up their poop.

In the wild or in the garden, cats will scoop soil and earth to cover but in the home, if you provide commercial cat litter, they will naturally scoop the litter to cover up the poop. You will notice, even if you only provide a newspaper for their soiling, your kitten will still scoop at the newspaper in an instinctive act to cover up their poop.

Although you can expect to pick up poop after your kitten in the first few weeks, litter training a kitten is relatively easy and can be 100% trouble-free once it gets used to the routine of using the litter tray.

About the Author
How to Litter Train A Kitten
For more tips on how to litter train your kitten, visit http://www.My-Pet-Cat.com

Kitten Feeding with a Bottle

Kitten feeding can feel like a difficult process without a mother cat to do it for you. Newborn kittens are so tiny and fragile, and have to operate almost entirely by instinct. It may seem a daunting task at first, but the process of kitten feeding with a bottle is not so much from that of feeding a newborn human. Once they know what to do, they will do it all on their own. All you have to do is show them proper care and follow a few simple guidelines.

Step 1 Make up the bottle of formula. To do this, first sterilize the bottle and nipple in boiling water for several minutes and allow to cool thoroughly before adding the KMR (kitten milk replacement) formula. KMR is specifically formulated for kittens, and cow's milk is not an adequate replacement. To avoid clumping, add just a little bit of water to the powdered mix and stir until thoroughly combined before adding the rest of the hot water. The final temperature of the formula should be about 95 degrees. If the bottle gets cold, just warm it up in a small bowl of very warm water, but always check the temperature before offering it to the kitten.

Step 2 Prepare the kitten. Place a warm, soft towel either on your lap or on the feeding surface, then place the kitten gently on top of it. When feeding newborn kittens, they will need to be lying flat on their stomachs. It is best if you can do this with the kitten gently cuddled against you, because you need to be sure that the kitten is warm before feeding. Cold kittens do not digest their formula well.

Step 3 Feed the kitten. Gently work the nipple against the kitten's mouth. They will get the idea quickly and take it in. If not, very gently stroke the kitten until it gets the idea. You will need to do this six to ten times per day, around the clock, just like a newborn human. Newborn kittens will need a little over one ounce of formula per day, divided between feedings. Be careful to not overfeed them.

Step 4 Clean up and burp the kitten. While the kitten is still on the blanket, gently slip one hand under its belly and hold it while you very lightly pat its upper back. This will stimulate the burp response. Then, using a warm, damp, slightly rough cloth, gently clean its anal and genital area to stimulate urination and defecation.

Step 5 Put the kitten back to bed. It is worn out from its feeding and needs to rest.

About the Author
Kitten Feeding with a Bottle
Learn more about newborn kittens and other aspects of kitten care by visiting the author's website at http://newbornkittens.net.

Owning a Cat - How it Benefits Your Child

If your child misses a lot of school due to illness, maybe you should get a cat. Research has shown that children who own pets attend school up to 9 more days a year than their non pet-owning counterparts. The immune function of pet owners is more stable, making them better able to fend off illness. Pet owners visit doctors less.

But what about allergies? Isn't cat hair is a common source of irritation to immune systems? A leading theory under investigation by asthma researchers suggests that the presence of pets in the home from an early age may adapt the immune system so it is less sensitive to allergens later in life. So it may in fact be the lack of pets in a child's life that contributes to asthma sensitivities.

Studies have also connected pet ownership with lower blood pressure and reduced anxiety levels. In fact, a recent long-term study has shown that people who have never owned a cat, face a 40% greater risk of death due to heart attack than current and even previous cat owners. Dog owners did not have the same level of protection against heart disease as cat owners.

State University of New York researchers found that the cat doesn't even have to be present to achieve this. A group of stockbrokers with hypertension who owned pets showed lower blood pressure even when not with their cats.

It is well known that cat owners have lower stress levels overall, so perhaps the health advantages are a result of being more relaxed.

Cat ownership may be a surprising remedy for absenteeism, however, good health and more days at school are just two of the many benefits to children of having a cat in their lives. Studies have associated numerous psychological benefits with pet ownership.

Children who live with cats show more empathy for others and help others more. This translates to being able to understand others and get along better. Children who live with animals develop a better understanding of body language and other non-verbal cues. A study of 455 school children between the ages of 11 and 16 revealed that children with pets had a better ability to understand non-verbal communications. As a result, these children are more popular with classmates than those who don't have pets at home.

Additionally, children who own pets are more likely to be involved in sports, hobbies, clubs and other social activities. Some studies even show that children who own cats have a higher IQ.

Children with pets learn develop an early sense of responsibility. The responsibility of owning a pet can give children the experience of being needed and this may translate into other areas of life. Cats are relatively easy to care for, as they clean themselves and don't need to be walked.

Social skills and responsibility make a great foundation for life. A US study of 394 university students revealed that those who had owned dogs or cats as childhood pets were more self-confident than those who did not. This may be related to other findings that children raised with pets have higher self-esteem, thought to result from the unconditional love a pet provides. No matter what's going on at school, or with friends, pets treat children the same way.

It seems obvious to say then, that pets hold an important place in many children's lives, often on a par with parents, grandparents and siblings. Children often talk to their pets and regard them as an important friends and confidantes. A five-year study of 600 children aged 3-18 years showed that pet-owning children who have challenges such as being slow learners or having divorced parents cope better with life than those who don't have a pet. Again, having a pet that shows unconditional love regardless of what is happening, can cushion other difficulties in life.

It's not surprising that pets have been used successfully in therapy for some time now. They help sick kids relax and take their minds off their illnesses. Some doctors, recognizing the importance of pets in children's lives ensure that pet names are included in their patients' medical records along with other family members. Even in the most depressing clinical environment, talking about a pet can lighten a situation.

If you already have cat members of your family, know that they are doing your children the world of good. If you don't, it's worth serious consideration.

About the Author
Owning a Cat - How it Benefits Your Child
Jenny is a cat lover and webmaster of Pictures of Cats You are welcome to reproduce this article on your pet or family related web site, as long as you reproduce the article in full, including this resource box and link to her website featuring photo and video galleries of beautiful cats.



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Protect Your Feline With House Plants That Are Safe For Cats

Finding house plants safe for cats is not always the easiest thing to do. However, responsible pet owners search through the listings of poisonous and not poisonous plants put out by the ASPCA for appropriate plants. Then they decorate their homes with the plants that are safe for their precious cats.

Sometimes, you get a cat after you have already decorated your home. In this case, you bring your brand new kitty home and you do not give a second thought to your house plants. You go about your daily life never even thinking that those plants could be poisonous to your new edition.

Then one day, you come home from what is usually an otherwise normal day at work to find your cat a little ill. You have no idea what is wrong. This scenario goes on for a few days before you take your precious kitty to the vet and find your feline has been nibbling on a house plant. This is when you find out that the English ivy that you have had for years is actually poisonous to your kitty cat. Lucky for you, your cat did not ingest enough to be fatal but did ingest enough to get ill.

You quickly rush home and check the ASPCA's website and throw out all the potentially harmful house plants before something serious happens to your cat.
Continue Reading About Protect Your Feline With House Plants That Are Safe For Cats


How To Keep Cats Off Kitchen Benches

This is a common question asked of cat owners. Most people assume that a stern "off" will stop your cat jumping onto kitchen benches. What is likely to happen by doing this is that your cat will learn not to jump up when you are around, but may continue with this behaviour when you're not home.

Many cat owners are happy for their cat to jump onto kitchen benches, but there are good reasons why this practice shouldn't be allowed.

* Safety: There is the chance that your cat could jump onto the hot stove top either burning itself by direct contact with the hotplates or knocking over a pan with boiling liquids. It may ingest cleaning products you have used in the kitchen such as bleach in the sink.
* Hygiene: Tiny particles of cat urine & faeces will be on the paws from using the litter tray. These will be transferred to the counter top. This may cause no illness in humans but why take the chance? What if your cat has been infected with toxoplasmosis or has a parasitic infection which you are not aware of?
* Food: Another safety concern is if your cat eats food from the bench which is dangerous, for example cooked chicken bones. Do you really want your feline tucking into Sunday's roast which is thawing?

There are several methods which can be used to discourage this behaviour using what is known as "remote punishment". This means the environment is responsible for creating a deterrent to jumping onto the benches, and not you. The focus is to make countertops an unattractive area to cats.
Continue Reading About How To Keep Cats Off Kitchen Benches


Do cats know and express love?

Most of us are incurable romantics. We think that feelings and expressions of love exist only within our species. But what about cats and other animals? Does anything akin to love exist in their world? The answer may surprise you, as it turns the love mirror back on us, revealing mysteries about our own struggles with l'amour.

Love Redefined
Until recently, poets, musicians and other creative individuals mostly defined love for us, coming up with traditions like Cupid and his arrow or St. Valentine's Day celebrations. But a slew of recent scientific studies put the focus on love's source of origin -- the brain.

Love turns out to be a valuable brain-initiated mechanism for species survival. It permits alliances between individuals, such as males and females, or parents and children, in order to facilitate breeding and infant care. Neuroscientists, such as Andreas Bartels of University College London, have determined that the brain-produced hormones oxytocin and vasopressin are real-life Love Potion No. 9s, leading to bonds between certain individuals.

Lions and Romantic Love
The feeling of "falling in love" is very specific, brain-imaging studies show. In humans, this can last for up to a few years, leading some people to constantly fall in and out of love or become addicted to that intense sense of attraction to another.

Domestic housecats have no need for extended male-female love in regards to reproduction. Lust, which appears in a different part of the brain, draws Toms and females together, but they then go their separate ways fairly quickly after mating, with mothers handling all parental duties. Lions are the one exception among cats, according to Jonathan Balcombe, author of the best-selling book "Pleasurable Kingdom: Animals and the Nature of Feeling Good" (MacMillan 2006). "Male lions will care for their cubs," he explains.

Motherly Love
Romance isn't the end all to love. "Emotions comparable to caring and romantic love are, without a doubt, expressed between a mother and her kittens," explains Dr. Balcombe, who is also an animal behavior research scientist for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. A vivid example is the story of Scarlett, a calico cat who pulled her five kittens, one by one, from a burning building in New York in 1996. Her actions, which left Scarlett with lifelong debilitating injuries, were documented by Animal Planet, but Dr. Balcombe says such stories are not uncommon.
Continue Reading About Do cats know and express love?


How to Clean Cat Urine

When cat urine seeps through carpet, into padding and down to the floor beneath, it can give your home an unpleasant aroma (to say the very least!). In almost all cases, cat urine is the worst perpetrator of pet stains and pet odors. If you own a cat, it's important for you to know how to clean cat urine stains.

The color of cat urine and its staining potential will often depend on dietary habits, age and sex of the cat, whether the cat is on medication, and the health of the cat. Urine can saturate absorbent materials such as carpet and padding, upholstery and mattresses well beyond the surface area that can effectively be cleaned. It is extremely difficult to remove all of the urine from inside of these materials. Even after a thorough cleaning, stains and odors often remain.

Tips on how to clean cat urine from the carpet:

Removing cat urine from your carpet can be one of the most difficult cleaning tasks, since it produce an especially persistent, unpleasant odor and amber-colored stains, so here are a few things you can do to eliminate them, when the "accident" is happens.

First, blot up as much of the urine as possible with a soft, clean white cloth or absorbent paper towel. Press down firmly (do not rub) for 30 seconds. The more fresh urine you can remove before it dries, the simpler it will be to remove the odor. Remove the towel and repeat the process until the area is fully dried. Rinse the "accident zone" thoroughly with clean, cool water. After rinsing, remove as much of the water as possible by blotting it up. Next, you have some options on how to clean cat urine from the carpet:
1. Baking soda works well to eliminate surface (but not deeply penetrated) odors. Dampen the area with clean water and then sprinkle baking soda over it. Rub the baking soda into the soiled area and let dry. Brush or vacuum to remove the dry material.
2. Another option in the how to clean cat urine list is white vinegar. Mix together 1 quart warm water and 1/2 cup white vinegar, and dribble the mixture onto stain. Place dry towels over the stained area and put something heavy over the towels to increase the pressure. After some hours remove the towels and raise the nap of the carpet with a soft-bristled hairbrush. Note: Test the vinegar solution on a piece of fabric that is hidden from view - under the cushion or on the backside of the furniture.
3. To clean old or heavy stains in carpeting, consider renting an extractor or wet-vac from a local hardware store. The extracting/wet-vac machines works like a vacuum cleaner and do the best job of forcing clean water through your carpet and then forcing the dirty water back out again. When you use these machines, you should follow the instructions carefully. Note: Don't use any chemicals with these machines - they work much more effectively with plain water.
4. One of the newest technologies for cleaning cat urine is penetrate the soiled area and deactivate the odor with peroxide or detergents. Simply spray a product that consist a 3% hydrogen peroxide and wait about five minutes. After that use a clean white absorbent cloth, blot the area, pressing down firmly (do not rub) for 30 seconds. Repeat this blotting process until the area is dry. If the stain or odor persists, repeat the process.Once the soiled area is really clean, you should use a high-quality pet odor neutralizer. Test the affected surface for staining first, and read and follow the instructions.
If the area still looks stained after it's completely dry from extracting and neutralizing, apply a specialized stain and odor removing bacteria/enzyme cleaner, such as "Outright Pet Stain Eliminator," "Pet 'Oops' Remover," or "Stain Gobbler". Check out the online merchants and catalogers selling pet supplies.

Tips on how to clean cat urine from your upholstery:
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Free changing picture gallery for your blog or webpage

Here is your chance to put a rotating picture gallery of the cats of CatNews.org on your blog or website.

Drop this code into your page and the gallery will function just like the pictures you see on my site, changing each time your visitor refreshes the page. I am always adding pictures to these galleries. They already has quite a few in them.

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Homemade Kitten Food

Do you need a cheap, healthy alternative to store bought kitten food to help wean your kittens off their mother's milk and transition them to traditional canned kitten food? More than likely, they have shown little interest in regular canned food, preferring the milk to anything you might put in their bowl. Dry food will also be too hard on their developing teeth. The best option would be to start them on a food that reminds them of what they prefer, but can be mixed with traditional wet food to help transition them over. This recipe is simple to make, and kittens find it delicious.

Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil, then remove the pan from the heat and mix in one envelope of unflavored gelatin. Be sure to mix thoroughly, and do not boil the gelatin. If the water tastes bad or has a heavy chlorine taste when it comes out of the tap, consider using filtered water instead.

Pour this mixture into a blender along with half of a 12 ounce can of goat's milk. Blend just long enough to combine thoroughly. Do not substitute cow's milk because cats tend to be lactose intolerant. Using cow's milk can lead to discomfort, diarrhea, and worse if fed to kittens.

Add the following ingredients one at a time. After each addition, blend briefly to combine before moving on to the next. You will want to use the lowest setting to avoid overmixing. Add: 3 tbsp full fat yogurt, 3 tbsp real mayonnaise, 3 tsp light corn syrup, and 1 raw egg yolk. Concerning the egg yolk, raw eggs carry a small risk of salmonella poisoning. To eliminate any risk of accidentally passing this on to your kittens, use eggs that have been pasteurized in their shells.

You can serve the completed homemade kitten food the way it is, or you can store it for use later. To store for later usage, cover the mixture tightly in a small container. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to ten days or in your freezer for up to three months.

If you are going to use food that you have prepared in advance, you will want to warm it up before serving, especially if it is coming from the refrigerator or freezer. Cold food causes severe stomach upset in kittens. Warming it up will also make it more aromatic, and thus more appetizing to the kittens.

About the Author
newbornkittens.net
Visit the author's website, http://newbornkittens.net to learn more about newborn kittens, as well as their raising and care

Cat allergies

How to Litter Train A Kitten

If the mother cat is still in the home and she is already litter trained, then litter training her kittens is a natural process. Her kittens will simply follow what she does. However, ultimately, each cat should have its own litter tray or else it may create a host of other litter tray problems for you!

For most kitten owners, the mother cat is not in the home if the kitten was orphaned or purchased. But this is not a problem. It is easy to litter train a cat when it's still a little kitten. Cats are creatures of habit and it may not be as easy to litter train once they have become used to their favorite toilet spots.

The key to litter training a kitten is to let it get used to the litter tray as soon as possible. You will need to manually place your kitten onto the tray initially, as it is neither used to it nor is it able to climb over the edge to get in.

Most kittens would defecate soon after waking up and after a meal. You could place your kitten in the litter tray during these times and after a few weeks, your kitten would get used to the routine and it would become a habit.

Just be sure to place the litter tray a reasonable distance away from where the kitten is fed and where it sleeps. Cats and kittens are fastidious creatures and do not like to do their toilet near where they eat and sleep.

When a kitten is still very young, it will not be able to "cover up" very well after its toilet, as most adult cats are capable of. But you don't have to worry about this. Once they are about 1 to 2 months old, they will instinctively know how to cover up their poop.

In the wild or in the garden, cats will scoop soil and earth to cover but in the home, if you provide commercial cat litter, they will naturally scoop the litter to cover up the poop. You will notice, even if you only provide a newspaper for their soiling, your kitten will still scoop at the newspaper in an instinctive act to cover up their poop.

Although you can expect to pick up poop after your kitten in the first few weeks, litter training a kitten is relatively easy and can be 100% trouble-free once it gets used to the routine of using the litter tray.

About the Author
Rona Limsy
For more tips on how to litter train your kitten, visit http://www.My-Pet-Cat.com

Cat litter box location strategies

New Kitten Care - How to Kitten-proof Your Home

A very important aspect of new kitten care is keeping your kitten safe from danger. There are a lot of potential hazards round the home for little kittens. This article lists the most common ones and suggests ways you can minimize risks to your kitten and keep her safe.

Washing machine and tumble dryer:
If you leave the door open and there are clothes inside, there's a good chance your kitten will climb in and go to sleep. Always check your kitten isn't inside these before you use them.

Fridge and freezer:
As soon as you've used these, shut the door.

Hob and oven:
Shut the oven door as soon as you've finished with it. Cover hot hob plates.

Raw meat:
Keep it out of reach - it can give your kitten food poisoning.

Garbage:
Put all garbage in a sealed bin that your kitten can't access.

Plants:
Many plants are poisonous to cats. If you're not sure whether a certain plant is safe for your kitten if she eats it, put it out of her reach.

Pot pourri:
The oils used to scent this can be poisonous.

Open fires and candles:
Use a guard on the fire. Never leave a kitten in a room alone with lit candles.

Electrical wires:
If your kitten is a wire chewer, you'll need to put wires out of her reach or buy plastic covers for them.

Curtain tie-backs and cords on window blinds:
Kittens can get caught in these. Either remove them completely or tie them up out of reach.

Filled bathtubs and sinks:
Make sure your kitten doesn't have access to the room when the tub or sink is full.

Open toilet:
Try to get into the habit of keeping the lid down when the toilet's not in use.

Medications:
Keep them in a cupboard that your kitten can't get into.

Small objects:
Kittens can swallow small things like paper clips, rubber bands, staples and needles.

String, wool, fishing line and thread:
Kittens can swallow large quantities of these. For this reason, balls of wool or string and pom-poms aren't good toys for cats.

Household chemicals:
Most cleaners etc. are highly poisonous to cats and need to be kept somewhere your kitten can't access.

Tobacco:
Tobacco, nicotine patches and nicotine gum are all poisonous to cats.

Reclining chairs, futons, folding beds, drawers:
If kittens get caught when this type of furniture is moved, they can get crushed. Make sure your kitten isn't asleep somewhere she could get trapped before you use any of these.

Safety is a major factor for new kitten care. It's fairly easy to keep your kitten safe as long as you anticipate potential dangers and take the necessary steps to prevent them. Putting brightly colored post it notes up around your home is a good way to do this. Stick the notes on or near potential dangers - for example the fridge, washing machine, oven, toilet and futon - and anywhere else that could be a hazard.

About the Author
Liz Allan
Liz Allan has 25 years experience of caring for cats. To find out more about new kitten care, visit: http://www.cat-behavior-explained.com/all-about-kittens.html

Cat allergies

Kitten Feeding with a Bottle

Kitten feeding can feel like a difficult process without a mother cat to do it for you. Newborn kittens are so tiny and fragile, and have to operate almost entirely by instinct. It may seem a daunting task at first, but the process of kitten feeding with a bottle is not so much from that of feeding a newborn human. Once they know what to do, they will do it all on their own. All you have to do is show them proper care and follow a few simple guidelines.

Step 1 Make up the bottle of formula. To do this, first sterilize the bottle and nipple in boiling water for several minutes and allow to cool thoroughly before adding the KMR (kitten milk replacement) formula. KMR is specifically formulated for kittens, and cow's milk is not an adequate replacement. To avoid clumping, add just a little bit of water to the powdered mix and stir until thoroughly combined before adding the rest of the hot water. The final temperature of the formula should be about 95 degrees. If the bottle gets cold, just warm it up in a small bowl of very warm water, but always check the temperature before offering it to the kitten.

Step 2 Prepare the kitten. Place a warm, soft towel either on your lap or on the feeding surface, then place the kitten gently on top of it. When feeding newborn kittens, they will need to be lying flat on their stomachs. It is best if you can do this with the kitten gently cuddled against you, because you need to be sure that the kitten is warm before feeding. Cold kittens do not digest their formula well.

Step 3 Feed the kitten. Gently work the nipple against the kitten's mouth. They will get the idea quickly and take it in. If not, very gently stroke the kitten until it gets the idea. You will need to do this six to ten times per day, around the clock, just like a newborn human. Newborn kittens will need a little over one ounce of formula per day, divided between feedings. Be careful to not overfeed them.

Step 4 Clean up and burp the kitten. While the kitten is still on the blanket, gently slip one hand under its belly and hold it while you very lightly pat its upper back. This will stimulate the burp response. Then, using a warm, damp, slightly rough cloth, gently clean its anal and genital area to stimulate urination and defecation.

Step 5 Put the kitten back to bed. It is worn out from its feeding and needs to rest.

About the Author
newbornkittens.net.
Learn more about newborn kittens and other aspects of kitten care by visiting the author's website at http://newbornkittens.net.

Cat allergies

Getting Ready for the Newborn Kittens

Caring for your cat during pregnancy may require a lot of time and effort in your part but it is a very wonderful and rewarding experience. But after the kittens are already born, you will need to do a different task and that is to take care of the newborn kittens. These kittens will need special kind of attention and care and you must make sure that you could provide it to them.

One good way to start is to prepare your home for the arrival of the newborn kittens. Kittens tend to play with, chew, or nibble anything that attracts their interest like plants, cords, and other materials. You should remove the things that could be harmful to the newborn kittens like anything that could poison them or hurt them. Electrical cords must be kept out of reach. Look for anything sharp and pointed and remove them from the area immediately. Deal with anything that could strangle your kitten like ropes, ribbons, and cords to provide a safer place for your kittens.

You might also want to save your curtains and drapes from kitten scratches so it would be advisable to tie them up so your kittens will not be able to reach them. Make sure that the cabinet for your cleaning liquids are out of your kittens’ reach. Most of these cleaning liquids are poisonous and you wouldn't want your kitty to play with them to prevent any kind of accident.

Another good preparation that you should not forget is to shop for things that your kitten will need. You will have to shop for foods that are suitable for newborn kittens. You should opt for foods that could give your kittens the kind of nutrition they need for growth. The food should also be easily digestible by kittens to prevent any troubles with their tummy.

You should also get them the things they need like their own bowls, kitty basket or bed, blanket, litter box, and toys. This is to ensure that your kittens will be comfortable and that they will have a good playing time. You should provide them with warm and comfortable place or area to sleep in. When choosing toys for your little kittens, make sure that they are safe and will not put the safety of your kittens at risk.

Lastly, you must make sure that your kittens are healthy. After birth, you could have a vet take a look at them to check them up for any illness and to give them vaccines that they need. If your vet saw some signs and symptoms that suggest illness, your kitten might be subjected to some tests and examinations. This is to ensure that they will grow healthy and will reduce the risk of getting sick. These things will help prepare you and your home for the arrival of your cat’s newborn kittens. You will not have to get worried about their safety inside your home and you can be sure that you will able to provide them with anything they need for them to grow happy and healthy.

About the Author
Shaun Bradley
My name is Shaun Bradley and I am an avid Cat Lover/Owner. I have had cats ever since I can remember. Now I have just two cats named Sylvia and Goldie. They are great pets and fairly simple to take care of as long as you know some easy cat training tips. Visit my website for more information http://www.trainingyourcats.com

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